US Marine aircraft crashes, leaving 3 missing

Participants in a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017 a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia board a U.S. Marines MV-22B Osprey on the deck of the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship off the coa

The US Marine Corps said Saturday that a major search and rescue operation was underway for three missing service members following a "mishap" involving an American military aircraft off the Australian coast.

There were 26 Marine personnel on board the Osprey when it crashed in what is being characterized as a "mishap".

The MV-22 Osprey involved in the mishap was conducting regularly scheduled operations when it crashed into the water. The aircraft last month were participating in the Talisman Sabre exercise, a biennial event between the two nations that involved more than 30,000 troops and 200 military aircraft. The 31st MEU is now operating with the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group as part of a regularly-scheduled deployment in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

The aircraft in question is a MV-22 Osprey convertiplane, the III Marine Expeditionary Force based in Okinawa, Japan said, according to a US Marine Corps tweet.

The Osprey is created to take off like a helicopter and rotate its propellers to fly like a plane.




Minister for Defence Marise Payne confirmed in a statement late on Saturday night that no Australian Defence Force personnel were on board the aircraft.

Four Bell-Boeing MV-22 Osprey aircraft arrived in Australia at the end of April from the U.S. Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268. Last December, a us military Osprey crash-landed off Japan's southern island of Okinawa.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has also been made aware of the operation in Shoalwater Bay.

Thirteen US aircraft were sent to Australia as part of the deployment, including the tilt-rotor Ospreys, Reuters reported.

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